2005 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Polly Parks <pparks@igc.org>
Date: 1 Mar 2005 22:13:27 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] States work with communities to spare bases
It seems to me that states would use their limited funding better if they pooled their resources and formed a national working group of relevant stakeholders to help the military services articulate and institutionalize their transformation strategy vis a vis the 2005 BRAC process.  According to the December 2004 GAO report, Military Transformation: Clear Leadership, Accountability, and Management Tools Are Needed to Enhance DODâ??s Efforts to Transform Military Capabilities:  "Because future threats the nation
may face are uncertain, and with many competing demands on its resources, the Department of Defense (DOD) has begun to transform its military capabilities, which will involve not only the acquisition of new weapon systems but also how the armed forces think, train, and fight. In 2003, DOD estimated $263 billion would be allocated from fiscal year 2004 through 2009 for transformation efforts. In this report GAO (1)
describes DODâ??s strategy to transform joint military capabilities; (2) assesses the extent to which DOD has established clear leadership, accountability, and a mechanism to integrate transformation efforts; and (3) assesses the extent to which DODâ??s framework incorporates results-oriented management tools to guide transformation efforts.

The GAO report iterates a number of areas where the lack of integration can undermine planning: "However, in the absence of clear leadership, accountability, and a formal implementation mechanism, DOD may have difficulty resolving differences among competing priorities, directing resources to the highest priorities, and ensuring progress should changes in senior personnel occur. In addition, informal mechanisms are not sufficient to provide transparency to the process or assurance to Congress that DOD is allocating resources to address needed improvements rather than desired improvements."

The 2005 BRAC is being marketed as key to transformation.  However, there has been no transparent process for the needs and concerns of stakeholders, including the Reserve and Guard forces that are increasingly the backbone of deployable ground forces -- to be integrated into the BRAC 2005.  This lack of transparency could serve to undermine the transformation objectives.

It is short-signted for states to concentrate on "saving" their local bases, particularly without addressing more federal concerns, such as the size of the force; the balance between a standing and state-based militia force; or training issues.  Likewise, the states have yet to weigh in on whether decentralization of the "beltway" might mediate the socio-economic effect of base closure or realignment.  

State articulation -- or input -- about these issues will not get into the 2005 BRAC Executive/Congressional tete-a-tete unless the states force them out of the closet and back into the general meeting.  Now is the time to do so, not after May 15, 2005.  

Polly Parks

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